Emma Fern Carpenter

Wellcome PhD Student

My current PhD project involves dissecting out minor variants that contribute to, and modify, antimalarial drug resistance in Plasmodium falciparum. I’ve only just got started – watch this space!

During my time as an Advanced Research Assistant, I worked with colleagues in 8 different Universities and Institutions as part of the Malaria Drug Accelerator (MalDA) Consortium, consisting of the University of California San Diego, Columbia University, The Pennsylvania State University, Washington University in St. Louis, Harvard School of Public Health, Wellcome Sanger Institute, GlaxoSmithKline, The Medicines for Malaria Venture, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which funded our project. Our aim is to streamline the process of:

  • identifying anti-malarial compounds
  • determining their mode of action
  • developing promising compounds into new antimalarial drugs.

Ongoing work has identified mutations in Plasmodium falciparum, the malaria parasite, that are associated with resistance to a panel of chemical compounds. I recapitulated single alleles into a reference P. falciparum strain to determine the precise contribution of candidate mutations to the resistance phenotype: I participated in the entire validation workflow; design and generation of CRISPR-Cas9/knock-in integration plasmids, transfection into parasites, genotyping of the resulting lines, and phenotyping by dose-response assays. In a year and a half, I generated 67 plasmids, transfected 92 times, and performed over 100 drug assays.


My publications

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Connect with me on Twitter

After weeks of discussions, meetings and interviews I am proud to announce that Mind the Gap is now available via

Please continue to share the work! Change does not come overnight, we are committed to improving the future of medicine #MedEd

#BlackInChem Day 2: Although I am an analytical chemist at heart, over the years, I've drifted so much into biology that I am now building a career as a malariologist😅.

For #BlackInBiological, let me tell you about PfcPRS, the protein that was at the center of my PhD research.